spotted: iowa making waves

Iowa’s been in the news over here lately! Have you spotted it?

First instance: The Princeton Review came out with its annual student rankings of undergraduate colleges and universities, and guess who was #9? Guess who was #7 in the category called, encouragingly, “Students Study Least”?

The University of Iowa.

A dubious set of honors, I suppose, and one that both town and gown have been actively trying to counter, notably in passing a CRAZY and LIBERTY INFRINGING initiative this spring that makes the bars 21-and-older. Used to be that 19 year olds could enter. They just couldn’t drink. That worked out well, right? Now, after 10pm, it’s only 21 and up. Take that, ye drunken, youthful carousers!

(I don’t know, kids, the hullabaloo over barring bars to anyone not, you know, legally allowed to drink seemed a little “duh” to me. But I’m weird like that.)

(Also, when we talk about “party schools”? I know that campus. I know those bars. There are, like, eight. It’s not exactly sin city. Kindly relinquish your smelling salts.)

Herewith follows my public service announcement that the undergraduate school is very, very different from the stellar postgraduate law, medical, and creative writing programs (among others). I don’t, um, think anyone is pounding shots of Jager before Constitutional Law??

Second instance: Well, this is embarrassing. Looks like the university was a bit over-generous with its acceptance letters last April, and admitted 400 freshman too many. And doesn’t have a place to put them.

I, however, see three bright sides:

1. So many more people applied! And apparently, a lot of the growth came from outside Iowa, indeed even outside America. Over 300 of those dorm-less students are from China. Just imagine it, a teenager in Beijing dreaming of attending school in Iowa! Bless them. Also, the university meant to increase its freshman size anyway. Just a touch more gradually. And with enough beds. As the New York Times so magnanimously put it though, “In effect, it met its five-year projection in the first year.” What efficiency! I wish I were that on top of things!

2. The NYT thought the “athletic nickname” for the University was “the Cyclones.” Which, of course, belongs the Iowa State University. The University of Iowa, the BIG TEN SCHOOL, is called the Hawkeyes. Moreover, the nickname of the ENTIRE STATE is, indeed, “The Hawkeye State”. Can we all laugh at the Times now? I like to get my elitist kicks in wherever possible.

3. Hellooo, real estate! Do you think renting out the guest bedroom for $200/week is too exorbitant?

Only joking.



Have you stumbled across any Iowa stories in the east-coast-media-élite news?


4 responses to this post.

  1. you have always nice things to post.


  2. Posted by Al on August 4, 2010 at 3:16 pm

    I felt so bad when i read the story about the Chinese student that was excited for “parties, proms, and a spare time job.” I didn’t attend any proms at Iowa undergrad. She’s gonna be so disappointed.


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